With famous on-screen Indian actors making a lot of muscles for their movie roles, every young Indian fitness enthusiast now wishes to grow as big as them. And that’s hardly possible without cumulative effort both in and out of the gym; something that even your favourite actors Amir Khan and Salman Khan follow.


Enough said, let’s get started with this two-part article on Indian bodybuilding diet plan to build muscle and strength. In the first part, we will take you through diet plan for indian bodybuilders and fitness enthusiast for both vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians. Go on read further below –

Basic Guidelines for Planning Effective Inclusion of Different Nutrient Groups

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Protein Consumption:

We Indians often believe that high-protein diets are dangerous to kidney and overall health. And due to which quite frequently we completely overlook the importance of dietary protein in our dishes. A study conducted with an explicit aim to find a relation between protein intake and kidney function found that healthy individuals (with no pre-existing renal disease) showed no signs of harm in renal function upon consuming over 2.0 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight.

Another research set to examine the safety concerns for athletes and bodybuilders with high-protein diet concluded that no link could be made between high protein diets and heart disease.

To sum up, following what the recent studies say, high-protein diet (above 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight) do not show adverse health risks, at least for healthy individuals, athletes, and bodybuilders.


Carbs Consumption:

You may have always wondered how many carbs I should really take to build muscles. Well, that’s quite easy to determine.
Fact – 1 gram of carbohydrate contains four calories. Now assume that you probably need around 3000 calories per day to get bigger.
If we go by the recommendations, your daily calorie intake should comprise of 45%-55% of calories from carbs. Calculating by simple math, we get 375 grams of carbs every day.

However, everyone has different calorie intake (hence different carb intake ratio) based on their goals, fitness level, and metabolic rate.

Fats Consumption:

Like carbs, fats also makes you feel full after a meal. Eating unprocessed fats found in nuts, olives, and avocados should be highly preferred over processed fat and oil products. At least 10%-20% of your total calories should come from healthy fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats along with saturated fat found in egg yolks, cheese, and other poultry items.

Related Article: Indian Diet for Six Pack Abs to Build Cutting Abs

Vitamin and Fibre Consumption:

Stop me if it sounds wrong, vitamins are so underrated in every bodybuilder’s diet. All you think about is protein and more protein which eventually leads to the negligence of micronutrient, especially vitamins. But now you will have to take some time and plan your micro nutrients now before it gets too late.

One of the very vital vitamins that every Indian bodybuilder and athlete should get is Vitamin D. It is helpful in strengthening bone, brain health, protein synthesis, and hormone synthesis. Other important vitamins that no bodybuilder should ignore are Vitamins B, C, and E.

Similarly, fibres are very crucial part of every Indian bodybuilder’s diet plan. Fibres have a broad range of benefits including – decreasing LDL levels, fighting against cancer, stabilizing blood sugar levels and killing constipation.


The Complete Indian Bodybuilding Diet Plan & Chart


If you are not OK with the above image, here is the briefed table for you:

Meal Vegetarian Non-Vegetarian
Wakeup Meal/ Pre-Breakfast Whey Protein Shake and 1 Medium to large size of fruit Whey Protein Shake and 1 Medium to large size of fruit
Breakfast Paneer Parantha(3 medium peices)/Paneer Bhurji + Greek Yogurt/ Low-fat Yogurt + Sprout Salad(1 medium bowl) Eggs, Oatmeal, Milk and Nuts
Mid-Morning Meal/Snacks Roasted Chickpeas(1 Medium Bowl) + Small size fruit(1 medium size) + mixed vegetables salad Brown Rice, Chicken and Broccoli
Lunch Mixed bean sabzi, Brown rice(1 medium cup) + Broccoli/Cauliflower(1 cup cooked) Fish, Brown Rice and Mixed Veggies
Mid-Afternoon/Pre-workout Meal Whole Grain Toast(Spread almond butter or avocado) + Baked sweet potatoes(1 small bowl) Sweet Potato and Protein Powder
Post-Workout Shake Whey Proten Shake and Dextrose Monohydrate Whey Proten Shake and Dextrose Monohydrate
Dinner Avocado and White bean salad with cheese dressing Chicken Broccoli salad with Flax oil dressing
Bedtime Meal Whey Protein with cottage cheese or Casein Protein + 1/2 spoon peanut butter Whey Protein with cottage cheese or Casein Protein + 1/2 spoon peanut butter

Meal 1: Wake-up Meal/Pre-breakfast

Nutrient Groups: Fast Protein + High GI Fruits

What to Eat:

  • Vegetarians: Whey Protein Shake and One medium to large size piece of fruit (preferably bananas or grapes)
  • Non-Vegetarians: Whey Protein Shake and One medium to large size piece of fruit (preferably bananas or grapes)

The importance of pre-breakfast meal:
A pre-breakfast meal or wake-up meal is very crucial for bodybuilders and athletes who are eyeing to put on some mass and size. When you wake up after a sleep of 7-10 hours, your body is already at the highest level of catabolic state of the day. It means that your body is now burning your lean muscle tissue as a fuel for functioning.

So, your first preference should be getting out of this catabolic zone as quick as possible. Consuming a pre-breakfast meal containing fast protein and high GI fruits right after awakening will help you in getting over the catabolic state.

Related Article: How to use Whey Protein for Weight Gain

Meal 2: Breakfast

Nutrient Groups: Protein + Low GI carbs or Slow Digesting Carbs + Healthy Fats

What to Eat:

  • Vegetarians: Paneer Parantha (3 medium pieces)/Paneer Bhurji + Greek Yogurt/ Low-fat yogurt + sprout salad (1 medium bowl)
  • Non-Vegetarians: Eggs, Oatmeal, Milk, and Nuts

The importance of Breakfast: Out of the three basic meals of the day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), breakfast is by far the most important meal for your fitness goals. Breakfast sets up the tone and influences our performance both mentally and physically throughout the day. Apart from providing much-needed energy, protein, and carbohydrate-rich breakfast also restores the blood glucose to normal after the night’s fast.

During initial hours of our sleep, our body uses blood glucose and liver glycogen as a fuel to fulfil its energy requirements. However, by the time we wake up, our glycogen stores and blood glucose are already running low. Now to prevent further declination in these stores, cortisol level rises in the body.

Cortisol also known as stress hormone is responsible for the breakdown of muscle protein and fat to derive the energy. If you don’t refuel your body with nutritious breakfast, cortisol levels will remain high. And prolonged exposure to elevated levels of cortisol will negatively affect your athletic performance over the span of time.


Meal 3: Mid-Morning Meal/Snacks

Nutrient Groups: Protein + Slow acting carbs + Veggies

What to Eat:

  • Vegetarians: Roasted chickpeas (1 medium bowl) + Small size fruit (1 medium size) + mixed vegetables salad
  • Non-Vegetarians: Brown Rice, Chicken, and Broccoli

The importance of Mid-Morning Meal – There’s a vast difference in how your body reacts when you eat 2000 calories in two meals and when you eat the same 2000 calories in three major meals and two snacks. The point is that eating smaller meals or spreading out calories in 4-5 meals helps your body to metabolize those calories efficiently.

In fact, snacking also breaks those long hours of fast between meals that often led to overeating and weight gain. Get in a moderate amount of protein and slow-carb like sweet potato along with fibrous vegetable like broccoli for this meal.

Meal 4: Lunch

Nutrient Groups: Protein + Slow acting carbs + Veggies

What to eat:

  • Vegetarians: Mixed bean sabzi + Brown Rice (1 medium cup) + Broccoli/Cauliflower (1 cup cooked)
  • Non-Vegetarians: Fish, Brown Rice, Mixed Veggies

The importance of Lunch: After a mid-morning snack of few calories, it is time to consume the fourth meal of the day which will set the right tone for pre-workout nutrition and hence assure a better performance in the training session. A nutritious lunch will keep off catabolism and provide a continuous source of energy to the body for afternoon chores.

Meal 5: Mid-Afternoon/Pre-workout Meal

Nutrient Groups: Protein + Low GI carbs

What to eat:

  • Vegetarians: Whole grain toast (spread almond butter or avocado) + Baked sweet potatoes (1 small bowl)
  • Non-Vegetarians: Sweet potato and Protein powder

Importance of a Pre-Workout Meal:
Studies have shown that consuming a meal 45-60 minutes before a training session can boost your performance during the workout. And we believe, that is not something difficult to understand. A pre-workout meal rich in slow acting protein and low GI carbs will provide your muscles with a sustained source of energy, increase your performance, preserve muscle mass and reverse protein degradation.

In fact, without a proper pre-workout nutrition, your post-workout nutrition will find it difficult to produce those magical muscle gains.

Pre-Workout Supplementation to Boost Energy and Increase the Pump:

  • BCAAs: BCAAs includes Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. This three form an important part of the protein, and hence, they are responsible for protein synthesis in the muscle. BCAAs get readily absorbed by your body which results in delivering fast energy to the working muscles.
  • Caffeine Anhydrous: Studies have shown supplementing with this stimulant before training not only increases energy and strength but also reduces the muscle soreness after heavy workouts.
  • Arginine: Arginine is an amino acid which converts to nitric oxide in your body and thereby allowing blood vessels to expand. It will result in increased flow of blood and nutrients to the working muscle and hence a better pump.
  • Beta-Alanine: In a nutshell, this stimulant increases muscular endurance by buffering hydrogen ions in the body, so that you keep up the intensity and workout for a long duration. You can get those extra few reps at the end of the set with this supplement.

Meal 6: Post-Workout Shake

Nutrient Groups: Fast Protein + Fast Carbs/High GI Carbs

What to eat:

Vegetarians & Non-Vegetarians: Whey protein shake and Dextrose Monohydrate.

The importance of a Post-Workout Shake: When it’s about appropriate post workout nutrition, you simply can’t go wrong with a post-workout shake. As stated in 2006 October issue of the ‘International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism,’ consumption of whey protein after exercise considerably improves strength.
A post-workout shake will also help you achieve your daily protein intake which you may find difficult to accomplish with solid meals alone.


Post-Workout Supplementation to Increase Strength and Speed Up Post-Workout Recovery –

  • Fast Carbohydrates/High GI Carbs: By the time you have finished yet another hardcore workout session, your body is running low on glycogen levels. Glycogen is basically a store of carbohydrates that your body uses as fuel when required. When you run out of this store, you will experience a lack of energy to do any work. So, it becomes a foremost priority to replenish the lost glycogen store with the help of ingesting fast carbs like Dextrose Monohydrate.
  • Whey Protein:– According to research, whey protein supplementation during resistance training augments lean body mass. It also stated that whey protein is quickly absorbed compared to soy and results in more efficient muscle protein synthesis rates. Another study published in ‘Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism’ suggests consuming a post-workout drink containing a minimum of 10 grams of whey protein and 21 gram of carbs increases muscle protein synthesis rates post strength-training session.
  • Creatine: There are a lot of varied opinions on the timing of creatine supplementation. Some people believe pre-workout creatine supplementation yields better results while others are of the view that as long as you fulfil daily creatine requirement timing does not matter. But if we go by this research, supplementing with creatine monohydrate post workout produced a 1.1 kg greater increase in fat-free mass compared to consuming pre-workout.
    You can also add BCAAs to your post-workout protein shake to speed up muscle recovery.

You should also read – 5 Bodybuilding Supplements that Build Stronger Muscles

Meal 7: Dinner

Nutrient Groups: Protein + Fibres + Few Low GI carbs

What to eat:

  • Vegetarians: Avocado and White Bean Salad with cheese dressing
  • Non-Vegetarians: Chicken, Broccoli salad with flax oil dressing

The importance of Dinner: Your two primary goals for this meal are:

  1. to increase the insulin levels so that muscle breakdown can be stopped
  2. to provide body sufficient amino acids to fuel protein synthesis.

People who follow a vegetarian or a vegan diet can get their post-workout protein from green beans, legumes, tofu, paneer, etc. While non-vegetarian diet followers have a lot of variety like chicken, fish, eggs, seafood, etc. to fulfil their protein requirements.

As far as carbs are concerned, you don’t have to think much about it. Brown rice, sweet potato, yams will work fine with a protein rich meal.

Meal 8: Bedtime Meal

Nutrient Groups: Slow acting protein + healthy fats

What to eat:

  • Vegetarians: Whey protein with cottage cheese or casein protein + ½ spoon peanut butter
  • Non-Vegetarians: Whey protein with cottage cheese or casein protein + ½ spoon peanut butter

The importance of Bedtime Meal: You might have often heard people suggesting not to eat anything after the clock strikes eight p.m., but we have facts that prove it wrong. According to a study, ingesting 27.5 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbs and 0.1 grams of fat before bedtime increased muscles mass and strength gains during prolonged resistance-type exercise.

Casein protein may prove more beneficial regarding satiety than whey protein when consumed before sleep, cites this study.

And if you think that all those calories consumed later at night will make your lethargic the next morning then you might want to look at this research which says night-time consumption of protein or carbs results in increased morning resting energy expenditure (REE) in the active young male.

Now that you are aware of what indian vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods you should have in your diet to gain muscles. Try this out and share your experience or questions in the comment below.

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Also published on Medium.

Tags : Bodybuilding dietIndian bodybuilding dietIndian Diet
MFF Terminator

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  1. Pingback: Ankit
    1. Hi Ankit,

      You can have White chole, paneer, soyabean, green peas, beans, dahi and eggs.
      These foods are highly rich in protein and doesn’t cost too much.

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